Be an Individual

Before I am anything, I am an individual.  

Whatever I bring to my marriage, my children, my career, my relationships, and anything else that I’m apart of all starts with ME.  Sometimes I feel that we forget to be an individual first.

If we pull too close to other people then we are limiting ourselves to be the best that we can be.  I’m not discouraging closeness with others, but I am encouraging us to keep everything and everyone in its proper place.

We are social creatures so we do need trusting, healthy relationships; but none should be closer to us than Jesus.  We need positive role models and people we can look up to, but we should place none higher than Jesus.  We should be able to trust others, but we should also trust that they are human and we should trust none more than we trust Jesus.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”  – Psalm 118:8

In order to be an individual, we must know our priorities.  A lack of priorities can lead to chaos in our lives.  It’s hard to keep our roles and relationships in order if we haven’t yet put them in their proper place.  If we’re not careful then we’ll be who others want us to be as opposed to who God created us to be.  Don’t let anyone dictate and direct your life:

Be an individual.  Live your life.  

Now we do need someone to dictate our life, and that someone is God, and God alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  – Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust Him, not ourselves.  Acknowledge Him, and He will direct.  It’s simple, right?  Not always.  It’s simple to understand, which is a blessing for us.  Following God is not rocket science, it’s the day to day that we have to focus on implementing His Word in our lives.  We can do it, we just have to focus on it one day at a time.

Don’t pull people closer to you than Jesus.   If you do, you’ll only get what people can offer you which is much less than what Jesus has for you.  

Don’t sell yourself short.  Be an individual.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  – Romans 12:2

Margo

Everything Serves a Purpose

Being a child of God comes with many, many benefits and assurances.  One of them is that everything that happens in our life serves a purpose.

With God, nothing is purposeless, coincidental, or by accident.  The God who created the heavens, the earth,  and the universe is not capable of an accident.  There is also nothing that has happened to you that He didn’t allow.  Even the bad, hurtful, shameful things.

Why?  People debate why God allows evil.  Well, God loves us all so much that He created us with free will.  If He didn’t then we would all just be robots.  We wouldn’t be us.  It’s the things we do that make us who we are.  And with all the stupid things that we do, He still loves us and promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  – Deuteronomy 31:8

Now, that’s love.  And on top of that, God is so good, powerful, and magnificent, that He can still work with all of our mistakes and make it into something good!  Goodness, I love Him!  He’s unmatched.  This is one of the ways that He works His power and shows us that yes, my friends, He is God.  And God alone.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  – Romans 8:28

God will sometimes allow painful situations in our lives to prevent us from being “exalted above measure” (II Corinthians 12:7). We all need to be humbled sometimes.  If everything always went the way we wanted it to go and we never experienced pain, we would be no good to anybody.  Our hurts develop our compassion.

When the apostle Paul cried out to God for relief from his pain, God’s reply was:

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  – II Corinthians 12:9

 Life isn’t perfect.  We’ve all experienced pain, hurts, and failures,  but we must remind ourselves that with God everything serves a purpose.  Sometimes it’s not even about the incident, but what God is trying to do through the incident.  Our key to success is to humble ourselves, pull close to God, and allow Him to do what He’s trying to do in us.  Yes, in us.  

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  – James 4:10

Margo

Do you talk faith or LIVE faith?

What a difference it is to talk faith and to live faith.  One can understand faith, even discuss it, yet be unable to live it.

Why?  Living in faith requires us to put some action behind our talk.  You know the saying don’t write a check that your ….  Well, it’s like that.  It’s one thing to say it, it’s a totally different thing to do it.

Living in faith is not always easy.

Actually, as we walk with Christ and grow in Him, living in faith can seem to get harder.  Why?  Because we have to keep growing and in order to keep growing we are faced with obstacles that require us to put more action behind our talk.  Following Christ is not about just talking, it’s about doing.  It’s about maturing in character that changes what you do.

As we follow Christ our faith should grow.

Are you living in faith?  Or, are you just talking about it?  Do your actions display faith in Christ or a sufficiently of self?

As we grow in Christ we should begin to see ourselves as less and Christ as more.

He is the one.  He is the One that we follow.  He is the One that we trust.  For we know that we cannot even trust ourselves.

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  – Matthew 26:41

Jesus is who we put our trust in.

“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  – John 14:6

He is our life.  He has everything that we need.

It’s not easy following Christ.  Actually, it gets hard which is why so many people fall away.  People get discouraged by life’s circumstances and resort to doing things their own way.  They think at least they can see and understand their own way, as opposed to trusting in Christ who we cannot see with our natural eye.  Following Christ requires forsaking sight for faith.

We value what we don’t see more than what we do see.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”  – II Corinthians 5:7

I know it gets hard, but I also know it’s worth it.

I know that Christ needs soldiers that He can depend on to follow Him even when the going gets tough.  We have to show the world that His way works.  It does.  No matter how hard it gets, His way works.

No one in life is exempt from problems, but with Christ we know that we have the victory.  For I know that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  I know that He will never put more on His children than what they can bear. That I know.

I know that I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me.  These are the things that we must know and believe in order to keep on following Him.

As we follow Christ we have to know that we must talk and live faith, so don’t be surprised when circumstances come your way that require you to exercise your faith.

Now is the time to live your faith.

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”  – II Timothy 2:3

Margo

LIFE: Live Strategically

Do you live with a plan?  What values drive what you do?  Do you have goals?

Plans, values, and goals help us to live strategically.

We must live our lives similar to running a business.  We must make intentional decisions that are all focused on bringing us back the results that we desire.  What results do you want to see from your life?  If we don’t know what we’d like our future to look like, then it’s likely that we aren’t making the best decisions today.

What we do today shapes our tomorrow.

In order to live strategically, we must have an idea of why we are living.  Yes, this takes a lot of effort and groundwork, but it’s worth it.  Once we get a strong foundation (clear from debris and trash) then we are able to start building up.  We can’t start building, though, without a strong foundation.  Well, we can but it will be in vain.  We have to take the trash out first.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  – Jeremiah 1:5

No, we’re not all ordained to be prophets, but God knew us all before we left the womb.  God operates strategically and purposefully, so there is no way He would have created us if there was no need for us.  There is a need for us on this earth.

God has something that He needs each of us to do.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  – Ephesians 2:10

We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

What work do you need to be doing?

You must get your plan from the Creator.  Once you get your plan and purpose from Him, then you must begin to live strategically in order to manifest the life He has for you to live while on earth.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.  It will take work, but anything worth having won’t come easy.

“For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”  – Ecclesiastes 5:3

Handle your business.  Work more, talk less.

Go get what’s yours.  In order to get it, you must live strategically.

We can do it.

Love,

Margo

MARRIAGE: Forgive, Love, Pray

Marriages are under attack.  

Marriages are of God and are very special to God so it’s no surprise that Satan attacks them.  That’s how enemies operate.  They know what you care about and they seek to destroy that.  We know without a doubt that we have an enemy that seeks to destroy us, our marriages, our families, and anything else belonging to God.  Jesus himself told us:

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  – John 10:10

Just because Jesus gives us something doesn’t mean that Satan isn’t trying to take it away.  

When it comes to our marriages, there are certain things that we must do to protect them.

1. We must forgive.  You are not perfect and your spouse is not perfect.  This equates to a lot of forgiving.  

A marriage cannot survive without forgiveness.  

Let’s not be surprised when our spouse says or does something that frustrates us- they’re human and they’re different than us.  Now, of course we’re human so we’ll get angry at times, but the key is not to stay angry.  We should strive to get angry less often, with less intensity, and for less time.  We must grow ourselves to not be so easily offended, and when we do get angry we must keep in mind that we have an enemy that loves to attach himself to our anger:

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down up on your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”  – Ephesians 4:26-27

Our anger gives the devil an opportunity to operate within our marriage.  Help us Lord.

2. We must love.  Now, when we have truly forgiven and dealt with our anger then we can love.  Sincerely, genuinely, and affectionately.  Our ability or inability to love allows us to gauge our forgiveness.  Sometimes we say we have forgiven but we are unable to love.  If we are unable to love then we haven’t truly forgiven, and I get it:

Forgivness is a process.

It is, however, a process that we must go through completely and sincerely.

We must remember that the love that we show our spouse is simply a reflection of the love that Christ has shown us:

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us…”  – Ephesians 5:1-2a

We must also remember that love is more than simply saying I love you.  Love is more than words.

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  – I John 3:18

3. We must pray.  This is the good part.  Now, we are humbling ourselves and trusting God to be God.  We are taking our concerns, struggles, and requests to God and trusting Him to do what only He can do.  Again, we are humbling ourselves.  We aren’t just complaining and venting to God about our spouse because we know that He has work to do in us just as He has work to do in our spouse.  

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  Speak not evil one of another, brethren.  He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”  – James 4:10-12

Ouch.

Once we forgive, walk in love, and have humbled our own heart, then we are in a position to pray for changes within our spouse.  We know that we can’t change our spouse, but we trust God. 

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.”  – Matthew 19:26

Marriage is a gift from God.  Let’s rely on God’s leading to care for and maintain our marriages the way He sees fit, never forgetting that marriages are under attack.  

Let’s do our part to protect our marriages by forgiving, loving, and praying.

With love,

Margo

What kind of woman are you?

This morning I read Proverbs 31:10-31, and the four adjectives that came to my mind were:

Productive, wise, generous, and kind.

This passage paints a beautiful portrait of the virtuous woman.  This is a very different image than the idolized celebrity that could so easily be described as: 

Beautiful, successful, prideful, and vain.

What kind of woman are you?  Where are you looking to determine what kind of woman to be?

So many of us women learn as we go, trying this and that until we realize that doesn’t work.  We all have experiences and pasts that should help us define our values.  The saying, if you stand for nothing then you fall for anything is so true.  

What do you stand for?  What won’t you do?  What is important to you?  What do you value?  Do you even know yourself?  What are you good at?  What does your ideal life look like?

These are the questions that we should be asking ourselves in order to grow and evolve as women.  So maybe a better question could be:

What kind of woman do you want to be?  

I, too, remember the time when my life fell very short of what I wanted.  The thing is, we must never settle and accept our current situation if we know it’s less than we’re worth.  In order to make that call, though, you must first know what you are worth.

Let me help you with that:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  – Jeremiah 29:11

You are worth peace.

“For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: there-fore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.”  – Isaiah 61:7

You are worth joy, not confusion.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies:” – Psalm 103:2-4

You are worth forgiveness, health, and lovingkindness.

It doesn’t matter where we started in life or what we’ve done along the way, the truth is that Jesus does not treat us as our sins deserve.  He is merciful and gracious, and in Him we are able to be the women that He created us to be.

You are worth it.

With love,

Margo


One Step At A Time

Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves by trying to do too much too fast.

Even when following the leading of God we get ahead of ourselves.  He gives us a glimpse and we think we see the whole picuture, but we don’t.  Truth is, we don’t even know what tomorrow will bring.

“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  – Proverbs 27:1

We all have to find a balance.  Some people do no planning for tomorrow, while others try to plan and control too much!  We must have balance.  We have to find a way to enjoy the day, no matter what’s going on, as well as do the work that is in front of us.

As we walk with God, there will always be something in front of us to do, but we must learn to take it one step at a time and enjoy the life we have today.  We have to enjoy the right now and take everything one step at a time.  We can’t have everything all at once.  We can’t do everything all at once.  

Life is a process.  Life is full of seasons.  We have to learn to follow God’s leading, stay obedient to His voice, and take it all one step at a time.

Jesus has promised us so much.  It’s not a question of if we are blessed or if He has plans for our lives- In Jesus we are lacking nothing.  His life, His sacrifice, His pain for our sake was not in vain.  We simply have to stay in Him, stand on His Word, and He will begin to reveal everything before our very eyes.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  – John 10:10

No matter what our life looks like now, it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  In order to have the life that He has for us, we must keep our eyes on Him, follow Him, and take it one step at a time.  We will never fail following Jesus. Never.

Just take it one step at a time.

Margo